About the Expedition
Rivers, Forests & Prairies
Links We Like
Book: Adventuring Along the Lewis and Clark Trail
Join an Outing!
The Two Rivers of Lewis & Clark
Entries For July 28:
Captain Lewis (current)
|<< Previous Entry (7/27/1805)||(8/3/1805) Next Entry >>|
My friend Captain Clark was very sick all last night but feels himself somewhat better this morning, since his medicine has operated. I dispatched two men early this morning up the S.E. fork to examine the river, and permitted sundry others to hunt in the neighborhood of this place. Both Captain Clark and myself corresponded in opinion with respect to the impropriety of calling either of these streams the Missouri, and accordingly agreed to name them after the President of the United States and the Secretaries of the Treasury and State, having previously named one river in honor of the Secretaries of War and Navy.
In pursuance of this resolution, we called the S.W. fork - that which we meant to ascend - Jefferson's River, in honor of that illustrious personage, Thomas Jefferson [the author of our enterprise]. The middle fork we called Madison's River, in honor of James Madison; and the S.E. fork we called Gallatin's River, in honor of Albert Gallatin. The two first are 90 yards wide, and the last is 70 yards. All of them run with great velocity and throw out large bodies of water. Gallatin's River is rather more rapid than either of the others, is not quite as deep, but from all appearances may be navigated to a considerable distance.
Captain Clark who came down Madison's River yesterday and has also seen Jefferson's some distance, thinks Madison's rather the most rapid, but it is not as much so, by any means, as Gallatin's. The beds of all these streams are formed of smooth pebble and gravel, and their waters perfectly transparent; in short, they are three noble streams.
Our present camp is precisely on the spot that the Snake Indians were encamped at the time the Minnetarees of the Knife River first came in sight of them five years since. From hence they retreated about three miles up Jefferson's River and concealed themselves in the woods. The Minnetarees pursued, attacked them, killed four men, four women, a number of boys, and made prisoners of all the females and four boys. Sacagawea, our Indian woman, was one of the female prisoners taken at that time, though I cannot discover that she shows any emotion of sorrow in recollecting this event, or of joy in being again restored to her native country. If she has enough to eat and a few trinkets to wear, I believe she would be perfectly content anywhere.
Reprinted by permission of the American Studies Programs at the University of Virginia.
The complete text can also be downloaded for printing from their website.